HUD TENANTS KICK-OFF NATIONWIDE CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORKS WEEK
WASHINGTON - Residents of more than 200 HUD-assisted and public housing complexes in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico today launched the first-ever celebration of "National Neighborhood Networks Week" from October 14 through October 22, 2000.
Neighborhood Network Centers enable residents of HUD housing to acquire computer skills, enroll in distance learning courses and "surf" the Internet. Since 1995, HUD has provided technical assistance to help open more than such 1,100 community technology centers.
"Neighborhood Networks Week provides a forum to showcase how our centers are helping conquer the digital divide, build relations with residents, better lives and improve properties," Cuomo said. "They prove the point that HUD's housing developments provide more than shelter. They are rich in services that address the educational, social, physical, cultural and technology needs of the people who live in them. A HUD building is not a liability to a community, but a great, great asset."
Events during National Neighborhood Networks Week include a ceremony in Green River, WY, to honor a 97-year-old computer class graduate, a pumpkin art contest in Grand Forks, ND, a Kids Against Drugs police officer appreciation ceremony in Tulsa, OK, a spaghetti supper in Knoxville, TN, and a computer art contest in Fort Smith, AK.
HUD officials also joined the celebrations. Cuomo opened the first Neighborhood Networks Center at the Santo Domingo Pueblo in NM, Federal Housing Administrator William Apgar visited a computer lab in Washington, DC, and Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Harold Lucas cut the ribbon on a new lending library at a center in Largo, MD.
During the week, residents can also participate in a number of interactive webcasts at the 1,100 Neighborhood Networks Centers. The National Zoo in Washington is having a webcast on Monday telling participants everything they want to know about its Urang Utans Learning Project. NASA is putting one of the nation's first Latino astronauts on-line on Tuesday. On Thursday Monster.com is staging a national job "cyber-fair" and the San Francisco Exploratorium is hosting a national discussion on breast cancer research on Sunday.
Neighborhood Networks Centers are the result of voluntary collaborations between the residents and managers of a HUD complex and local private sector partners. HUD's community partners include local businesses, non-profits, educational institutions, faith-based organizations, civic organizations, foundations, hospitals, community clinics, and federal and state government agencies.
In addition, Following President Clinton's "New Markets Tour" in 2000, a number of national partners have begun providing resources to Neighborhood Networks Centers, including Cisco, Hifusion, Enron, Lightspan, Northpoint, PowerUP! And Technology for All.